Promotion bid goes to the wire

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Monkseaton CC 1st XI will see their promotion bid go right to the wire after Saturday’s 10-wicket victory over Wooler set up an exciting final weekend of the season.

Victory saw skipper Mark Tunstall’s side move into the second promotion spot in Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League Division Six (North) with one game to play.

By taking 28 points from the game, Monkseaton opened up a 21-point gap over Ashington Rugby, the only side still able to catch them.

Monkseaton’s final fixture, however, is one of their toughest of the campaign as they host already-promoted champions Kirkley, who have yet to taste defeat in the league this season. Ashington Rugby, meanwhile, entertain Stobswood Welfare,knowing a win could yet be enough to pip Monkseaton to the runners-up spot and promotion.

A great opening spell from John Hewett set the tone for Saturday’s victory over Wooler.

His return of 3-12 from nine overs included a wicket with the very first ball of the afternoon as visiting opener Ian Clarke edged to Tony Lion at gully.

Skipper Les Porteous (22) and Andy Gallivan (23 not out) managed to get Wooler to a score of 90-7 after 40 overs, denying Monkseaton two bowling points despite the best efforts of a six-man attack in hot and humid conditions.

Monkseaton were never in trouble during their run chase as openers Ben Windass (49 not out) and Richard Ord (36 not out) saw them home unscathed in 17 overs. Ord hit the winning runs, denying his more free-scoring team-mate Windass a fourth half-century of the season in the process.

Saturday’s crunch game against Kirkley at Churchill Playing Fields starts at 12.30pm.

* The 2nd XI returned home from their trip west along the Tyne to Corbridge on the wrong end of a six-wicket defeat.

Batting first, Monkseaton slumped to 72 all out from 26.1 overs. Despite three wickets for stand-in skipper Tony Errington (3-31), the hosts knocked off the required runs in the 22nd over of their reply.

The 2nds end their season with a trip to Kirkley 2nds on Saturday (12.30pm start).